Multiple tourism offices worldwide could enhance Qatar's presence and appeal: PwC

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Spain has 33 tourism offices across the world and invested €478mn in 175 tourism sustainability projects across destination types

Qatar, which has embarked on a strategic fusion of tourism and sports and is swiftly establishing itself as a prominent cruise destination, should enhance its global presence with multiple tourism offices worldwide, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

Following the examples of Spain and Singapore, which have successfully established multiple tourism offices worldwide, and having forged partnerships with celebrities, bloggers, influencers and global entertainment platforms; Qatar could similarly enhance its international presence, PwC said in its latest report.

"By setting up comparable tourism offices and securing collaborations with celebrities and entertainment entities, Qatar can significantly amplify its global visibility and content outreach," it said.

Spain has 33 tourism offices across the world and invested €478mn in 175 tourism sustainability projects across destination types. In the case of Singapore, it has three-year partnership with Warner Bros to spotlight the country and allowed visitors from more than 150 countries visa free short stays.

Qatar has become a leading destination for sports and tourism, leveraging strategic investments in top-notch sports facilities – like the FIFA World Cup 2022 stadiums and the Lusail International Circuit – and enhancing its tourism sector offering.

Highlighting that Qatar has invested heavily in developing tourism infrastructure to provide visitors with a holistic experience; PwC said it can now develop innovative and sustainable touristic experiences that create a complete visitor experience in Qatar.

The Arab country should adopt a comprehensive development strategy that enhances port infrastructure, diversifies excursion options, and promotes year-long cruise activities.

"Key initiatives (should) include upgrading Doha Port to serve an increasing number of vessels and passengers, offering customised and culturally immersive excursion packages, and organising a continuous calendar of events to attract tourists throughout the year," it said.

The 2023-24 season saw 73 cruise ships and hosting more than 378,000 visitors, making 2023-24 one of the largest ever cruise seasons for Qatar Tourism and Mwani Qatar. This marks an increase from the 2022-23 season that witnessed as many as 54 cruise ships and 253,191 passengers.

Finding that regional and global diverse tourism strategies involve establishing a global footprint marketing network, diversification of offerings, and a review of tourism policies, it said these insights could be leveraged by Qatar for its future development.

Terming that Qatar's strategic fusion of tourism and sports marks a new chapter in Qatar’s journey towards a diversified economy and global prominence, PwC said by synergising these sectors, Qatar can "redefine the global narrative on the power of tourism and sports for national development."

Suggesting widened utilisation of Qatar’s sports assets, it said by hosting a wide array of activities beyond traditional sports events, including entertainment, culture, and leisure, Qatar can optimise the utility of its sports infrastructure and offer tourists a diverse experience.

"This approach takes advantage of Qatar's experience in hosting sporting events and ensures that the country's investment in its sports venues pays off while offering tourists a rich and diverse experience," it said.

Urging Doha to target investments in differentiated sports subsectors; PwC said Qatar’s successful track record of investments in sports leagues and teams highlights its ability to add tremendous value to clubs.

The country has a large network of world-class state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and private sector players that can generate synergies for the country’s investments and acquisitions in the sports sector, it said.

"Following its model with PSG, Qatar can look to replicate this success across other sports where regional players have not penetrated," it added.

Observing that Qatar has accrued invaluable expertise in the field of sports events operations and execution through its successful hosting of global tournaments, such as the Asian Games 2006 and FIFA World Cup 2022, and the Qatar Grand Prix, it said this expertise can be transferred to prospective hosts of future tournaments through the creation of a Centre of Excellence designed to support countries throughout the entire value.

"By sharing this expertise and knowledge in event management, Qatar will also catalyse improvements across other sectors, elevating tourism by enriching the visitor experience and broadening the country's international appeal," it said.
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